Are you a go-getter? Success today is not necessarily a function of hard work alone; instead, it’s a function of how much you give and provide value to others.

Bob Burg takes working by referral to a completely different level, one that is congruent with today’s Web-savvy consumer. In his book, "Endless Referrals," Burg outlines how to build a network that sends you business by first helping others to build their businesses.

In "The Go-Giver," Burg joins forces with John David Mann to produce a must-read book for anyone who wants to prosper in today’s market. The jacket of "The Go-Giver" begins with a quotation:

"Most people just laugh when they hear that the secret to success is giving. Then again, most people are nowhere near as successful as they wish they were."

The book goes on to outline the "Five Laws of Stratospheric Success." If you’re ready to catapult your business to stratospheric success, here’s how to do it:

1. The Law of Value: Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.

Many people confuse value with price. Price refers to the cost of purchase. In contrast, value includes both the cost plus a wide variety of other factors. For example, if your accountant charges you $500 for preparing your tax return and saves you $2,000, your accountant made a profit and still gave you more in value than what you paid. He or she saved you the time required to prepare the return, the tedium of checking the tax laws, plus knowing that you have an advocate should you face an audit.

When Realtors list a property they normally sell it for more money than the sellers would on their own. In addition, they save the sellers the time and effort required to market the property. Their expertise also helps the seller to navigate through the complex web of disclosures, negotiations and other closing requirements. A key point to recognize is that, "All things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to those people they know, like and trust."

2. The Law of Compensation: Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.

People often ask why teachers are not compensated as well as actors, athletes and CEOs. The Law of Compensation says that your compensation is directly proportional to how many lives you touch. It’s not just your value — it’s a question of impact. There are no limitations on what you can earn because there are always more people that you can find to serve. The value you provide is your potential for earning. The number of people you serve determines how well you will be compensated. Look for ways to serve others, whether it’s your family, your friends, your clients, or people you don’t even know.

3. The Law of Influence: Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.

When most people think of a network, they think of their customers or clients. There’s a much more important type of network — a network of people who know you, like you and trust you. They are people who are invested in seeing you succeed, even if they never buy anything from you. Putting it a little differently, they are your own army of "personal walking ambassadors." The way to create this type of network is to stop keeping score. Instead, focus on creating "win-win" situations. In other words, look out for the other guy and keep your focus on the other person’s win. If you have ever wondered what makes people truly attractive, what makes them "magnetic," it’s because they love to give. Givers attract. When you place the interests of others first, your needs will always be taken care of.

4. The Law of Authenticity: The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.

No matter what you think you are selling, the most valuable thing that you have to give to people is yourself. If you want great people skills, then be a person! It’s worth 10,000 times more than all the closing techniques that ever have or will be invented.

5. The Law of Receptivity: The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

According to Mann, one of his clients told him that laws 1-4 were like smooth, polished wood. Law 5, on the other hand, gave him splinters. Many people give without expectation. There’s nothing wrong with having an emotional expectation that the universe will reward you. The point is that you must give without emotional attachment. When you lack attachment, you are more open to receiving with abundance.

The key to giving is being open to receiving. All the giving in the world won’t bring success, won’t create the results you want, unless you make yourself able to receive in like measure. If you don’t let yourself receive, then you’re refusing the gifts of others. The result is that you shut down the flow.

Giving works in tandem with receiving. You need to do both to achieve "stratospheric success."

Bernice Ross, national speaker and CEO of, is the author of "Waging War on Real Estate’s Discounters" and "Who’s the Best Person to Sell My House?" Both are available online. She can be reached at or visit her blog at

Ross will speak at Real Estate Connect in San Francisco, July 23-25, 2008.


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